HE worked as an exciseman during his short life. More than 200 years after his death, Robert Burns is still collecting more than £200 million a year for Scotland, it is claimed.

A year-long study led by Glasgow University has put a £203m annual value on the bard.

Headed by cultural historian Professor Murray Pittock, the Scottish Government-funded work put that total on Burns’s economic and cultural impact, and said his personal brand alone has an equivalent value of almost £140m per year.

READ MORE: Murray Pittock: Report on Robert Burns reveals his cultural value

Within the UK, culture and heritage tourism in Scotland attracts more visitors than anywhere outwith London.

And the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway is second only to Shakespeare among UK writers’ museums in its visitor numbers.

The £23m centre opened in 2009 and is owned by the National Trust for Scotland.

Though previous work has been carried out on the economic impact of cultural Burns industries, the latest research is believed to be the most comprehensive to date.

Burns-related tourism was found to bring in more than £120m to Ayrshire and Arran alone, while Burns Night achieves a turnover of £11m every January 25.

Meanwhile, Burns Festivals throughout the country have an estimated value of £7m and spending on Burns-related food and drink, such as whisky and haggis, is said to amount to £20million.

University research and education on Burns is estimated to bring in another £500,000 a year.

Pittock – who has written for The National today – praised Burns’ “universal appeal”, with Auld Lang Syne having been performed “by everyone from Elvis Presley to Jimi Hendrix”.

The bard’s poems and songs have been translated into every major language and some 9.5m people worldwide are thought to attend Burns Suppers annually.

Welcoming the report, which was published yesterday, Economy Secretary Derek Mackay said: “It goes without saying that the cultural and societal importance of Burns the brand is enormous. In fact, the report highlights that the values and identity of Robert Burns – the lover of nature, the innovator, and the humanitarian – resonate with the identity of modern Scotland.”